The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge

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Oxford University Press, Apr 25, 1996 - Philosophy - 215 pages
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This original analysis examines the three leading traditional solutions to the dilemma of divine foreknowledge and human free will--those arising from Boethius, from Ockham, and from Molina. Though all three solutions are rejected in their best-known forms, three new solutions are proposed, and Zagzebski concludes that divine foreknowledge is compatible with human freedom. The discussion includes the relation between the foreknowledge dilemma and problems about the nature of time and the causal relation; the logic of counterfactual conditionals; and the differences between divine and human knowing states. An appendix introduces a new foreknowledge dilemma that purports to show that omniscient foreknowledge conflicts with deep intuitions about temporal asymmetry, quite apart from considerations of free will. Zagzebski shows that only a narrow range of solutions can handle this new dilemma. A compelling contribution to the field, The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge will appeal to students and scholars of theistic philosophy and the philosophy of religion.

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1 The Foreknowledge Dilemmas
2 The Boethian Solution
3 The Ockhamist Solution
4 Foreknowledge Causal Relations and Subjunctive Conditionals
5 The Molinist Solution
6 Two More Solutions of My Own
A New Foreknowledge Dilemma

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Page 2 - I formed them free, and free they must remain, Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change Their nature, and revoke the high decree Unchangeable, eternal, which ordained Their freedom, they themselves ordained their fall.
Page 2 - What pleasure I from such obedience paid, When will and reason (reason also is choice) Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil'd, Made passive both, had serv'd necessity, Not me ? They therefore, as to right belong'd, So were created, nor can justly...
Page 3 - I have a deep desire to know how it can be that God knows all things beforehand and that, nevertheless, we do not sin by necessity. Whoever says that anything can happen otherwise than as God has foreknown it, is attempting to destroy the divine foreknowledge with the most insensate impiety. If God foreknew that the first man would sin — and that anyone must concede who acknowledges with me that God has foreknowledge of all future...

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Free Will and Luck
Alfred R. Mele
Limited preview - 2006
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